kmagnacca at WESLEYAN.EDU
Wed Nov 23 10:17:13 CST 2005
> So how do you test a cladogram? (Naïve question, I know.)
> I ask because it seems that a cladogram is the final product in many
> systematic studies. I don't associate the term "hypothesis" with the
> thing that you end up with at the end of your study.
I didn't entirely understand Kirk's message that prompted this, but as I
see it, you test the cladogram by running an analysis and determining if
it is the best one available according to whatever criteria (parsimony,
ML, Bayesian, etc.) you are using. Of course this is all automated so
that the "hypotheses" are generated automatically. The only thing that
seems unusual (in terms of deviating from typical scientific theory) is
that a hypothesis (i.e. cladogram) can't really be falsified on its own
but only when you find another one that has better support.
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